Most women were raised to make do with what we have, to compromise and put others first. We begin settling for less than we deserve. And that’s not okay.

You walk into a conference room, and you’re told to find a seat. You choose a seat in the third row, and on that seat is a yellow spiral-bound notebook. You look around at the other seats. Some have blue notebooks, some red, and some yellow. You think, “Wow, I hate yellow. I wish I had a blue notebook.”

The conference begins, and the facilitator says, “If you don’t like the color of your notebook, trade with someone and get the one you want. You deserve to have everything in your life exactly the way you want it.”

How often do you feel that you don’t really get to choose exactly what you want, that you are settling? What would your life be like if you believed you could have the important things in life exactly the way you wanted it?

The Yellow Notebook is just one of the many inspiring chapters in the book, The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, by Jack Canfield. You may recognize his name as the co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

While reading the story about the yellow notebook, I realized that for most of my life, I had been settling for less, because I didn’t believe I could have what I really wanted. I was resourceful. I figured if I couldn’t have everything I wanted, I could turn that mediocre thing into something I could live with or learn from.

This idea of not settling? That can be a whole new way to look at life!

Imagine knowing what you need and not settling for less. Wouldn’t that be amazing? Could we really have everything we need; work we love, fulfilling relationships that bring us joy?

Young children have the right idea

Toddlers are very curious creatures. They go after what they want. They are constantly picking things up, tasting them, smelling them, until their interest wanes. Then they are onto the next thing that captures their interest.

Soon, adults tell them, “Stop! Don’t touch that, put that down, that’s dangerous, sit still, spit that out.” As they get older, parents and teachers tell them, “You’re wrong, I’m right. Pay attention! You need to work harder. You’re not enough. You didn’t get a good grade in math/history/English. You think you can be number one in hockey? Stop being so full of yourself.”

Soon, those children become adults who are so used to settling for what they think they deserve, they forget how to dream about what they really want. We settle for the yellow notebook when blue is the one that makes our heart sing.

In my late 20s as I was searching for a husband, I was hopeful…

I was searching for my ‘blue notebook’, and I thought I found him. But when he broke my heart, I gave up on ever finding true love. It was too risky to open to heartbreak again. So I settled for yellow. I thought it was good enough. I thought I could somehow make myself love yellow, even though the relationship was flawed from the start. With a weak foundation, the marriage eventually crumbled. I stayed for 23-years, hoping somehow it would become my ‘blue notebook marriage’.

It’s not healthy to settle in your relationships, or for a job that’s not a good fit.

When you know your purpose and core values and become clear about what you need in life, work, and love, you’ll know if it’s a good fit for you. Don’t settle for less than you deserve.


What’s your blue notebook? Dare to dream, and share it below.

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